Amir Mirza Hekmati

Iran has arrested somebody called Amir Mirza Hekmati for spying. He is a US / Iran citizen. It appears that he was born in Arizona. It is all a bit mystifying. Why he would he want joint citizenship? Maybe he was only granted a visa on condition that he took out joint citizenship. Maybe it is not his first visit to the country. He was in Iran on a family visit as was Zahra Bahrami about whom I have written at some length.  She was in fact born in Iran but sought refuge in Holland. She had dual nationality as well.  On a family visit she was picked up after taking part in the Ashura demonstrations of 2009. She was executed last year. Her real crime is generally thought to be that she had taken on Dutch citizenship. Apparently Hekmati was a military translator & was also on a family visit. Iran is such a dangerous country that in present times when there is so much mutual hostility why did he visit the country? It must have occurred to him that he would be picked up. He is accused of being a moraheb – an enemy of God, usually a sign that the death penalty will be carried out. The omens are unfavourable. He is accused of working for the CIA to infiltrate Iran’s intelligence system. It just seems so unlikely, in fact it is almost impossible to believe. The  normal US method of intelligence these days is to break into & look at e-mails. The Iranian authorities might be planning to use him as a bargaining chip but for what? The United States is unlikely to make any concessions in return for this man being freed. The Iranian authorities are unlikely to free him without any concessions being made. It is known that there is competition between the various organs of state repression. This might have something to do with it. The fact is that Iran is largely getting away with its human rights abuses because Western governments seem so concerned about its nuclear programme.

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